Friends for Life Session at Warley Town School

As part of National Safeguarding Week Project _Twelve:31  visited  Warley Town Primary School with partners from PACE (Parents Against Child Exploitation )and West Yorkshire Police to deliver a session around child sexual exploitation (CSE) and online safety.

Headteacher Anne Stead said she was looking for something a bit different and the ‘Friend for Life’ session seemed like a fun and interactive way to bring together parents, children and teachers to talk about this challenging subject.

A Friend for Life is someone you trust like a parent or teacher and discussions took place between the children and adults around who is a safe or unsafe person and the dangers of revealing too much information on social media.

CSE perpetrators can come from all backgrounds and ages or genders, even older young people, and children can be sexually exploited by an individual or by a group of people connected through formal networks or more informal friendship groups and families.

Children may find it hard to judge strangers they meet in person, and it’s even harder when children use social media as people may not be who they say they are.  Parents should try to keep up-to-date with the apps their kids are using and what it is that these apps do and they should monitor Internet usage to ensure their interactions are only with real-life friends.

Bullying doesn’t just happen in the playground. Cyberbullying involves digital technology like mobile phones and computers and it can be more difficult to stop than physical bullying because it’s hidden. Social media can be a hub for cyberbullying and questionable activities. Without meaning to, kids can share more online than they should and families talked together about the dangers of cyberbullying and how to stay safe online by not sharing locations, and being careful about what they do post online as usually it can’t be taken back once it’s posted.

Maggie said “ I found that the  interactive approach was great for the children to understand and the content was pitched correctly for the young audience which quickly got the children on board with the very good informative session “

Shaun said “ The subject matter was difficult to deliver to such a young audience, however it was done well and I would encourage others to attend similar sessions with their children“

For more information about the session, please contact karen@ovenden-initiative.org.uk

For support around CSE or online safety, please visit https://paceuk.info/for-parents/

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